Demographic indicators of trust in Federal, State and local government: Implications for Australian health policy makers

Samantha Meyer, Loreen Mamerow, A Taylor, Julie Henderson, Paul Ward, John Coveney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. To provide baseline findings regarding Australians' trust in federal, state and local government. Methods. A computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) survey was administrated during October to December 2009 to a random sample (n≤1109) across Australia (response rate 41.2%). Binary logistic regression analyses were carried out by means of SPSS. Results. Age, household size, household income, IRSD and ARIA were found to be significant indicators for trust in federal, state and local government. Trust in state government is lower for older respondents and respondents living in inner and outer regional areas. Trust in local council is lower in respondents living in inner regional areas, respondents living in disadvantaged areas, and respondents in the income bracket of $60001 to $100000. Trust in federal government is lower for older respondents and respondents living in disadvantaged areas. Of note is diminished trust in government among older, regional and lower income ($30001-$60000) respondents. Conclusions. Trust in all levels of government was found to be the lowest in population groups that are identified by empirical research and media to have the poorest access to government services. As a consequence, improved access to services for these populations may increase trust in health policy. Increased trust in health governance may in turn, ensure effective dissemination and implementation of health policies and that existing inequities are not perpetuated through distrust of health information and policy initiatives. What is known about the topic? Evidence suggests that a lack of trust in government and associated programs has significant implications for the implementation and uptake of health services and programs. What does this paper add? Despite the importance of trust and the acknowledgement that citizen trust is declining, baseline information on Australians' trust in state, federal and local government has not been published. What are the implications for practitioners? Findings highlight specific populations where trust in government is found to be low. Given the importance of trust in the acceptance of policy, this paper provides valuable information for policy makers interested in developing trust as a means of increasing public acceptance of policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Health Review
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Demographic indicators of trust in Federal, State and local government: Implications for Australian health policy makers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this